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This is the good, the bad and the ugly. I'm the boss of that. No, I'm boss. That sounds weird. If I were going to call myself the boss anyway.
Look, this podcast is filled with uncensored interviews with experts in particular fields or real life stories from people who have inspiring personal tales to tell. It covers various topics and life stories that I've really dug, you know what I mean? And I think you'll dig them to just say, you know, this podcast is for grownups. It may contain adult themes, sexual references and strong language. Fuck, yeah, I just wanted it, she said.
Ladies and gentlemen, the story you you're about to hear. Oh, now wait. I know you're going to dig this. I think the best thing for me to do is to introduce what what's his name. But why me?
It's not a schwa. Me, it's a Ashmawy.
There you go. Socially distanced with a smile. Oh, you're very welcome. Yeah.
Come on. I kind of Miss Johnson.
I know you're there, but you're not there there anyway. Look, I'm not going to get down at the start of the podcast. You're very welcome to the good, the bad and the ugly episode. Some fingers six six. I know that Episode six, Jordan and the Somali Pirates sounds like a children's book stuff.
Me not that. Anyway, look, first things first. I am missing you, Johnson, a bit.
Thank you. You guys. Are you. So we're still just for anyone in other places outside of Ireland. We're in level five for the last few weeks. So everyone's like can live in the weeks. Just this is week two.
I hate to disappoint, OK, whatever it was, you know, I have to say Miss Life a little. It's hard. It's Flippen pandemic's domy. Not in my life has.
My life has no flavor. Do you know what I mean by that? The world has no taste. It's all just fucking chicken. That sort of feels like it's just bland all the time. And usually I'll be looking at John John's face and be able to slag him to his face.
And now it's just not as much fun, just not as much fun as liking someone whose little face on a phone, you know, to mean. But but I miss you as well, man. I do. You know what it is? It's been stuck in your bubble with your family. And of course, you're staring at your family like their new cell mates and you're away from your friends and Jesus Christ, even my barista next door, coffee shop next door shut down like I make shitty coffee.
I never realized it's not funny.
I was sitting down having lunches, not even not even with John John Amaechi, but just just on my own. Even just a cinema, I should say.
Of course, like, you know, DICENZO can be very negative. I'm not a negative person, you know, like I, you know, but I'm also incredibly lucky as we all are. My you're lucky. Yeah. Look, look, you are look at me, look at me and say I'm lucky. You're lucky. John, John, John, John. You're are you lucky. John. John. Yeah, you're very lucky.
I'm incredibly lucky too because I do a show here called DIY SOS Ireland.
Right. Yeah. And this show is where we get volunteers to come together to help families who are living in conditions that are impossible, whether that's because the children are living, what life threatening conditions or where someone has had a life change in accidents, you know, and the house doesn't work for them anymore. Maybe they're in a wheelchair and they they can't do they're not in their development. And and then these volunteers, they swoop in and they they build these people's houses in nine days.
It's magnificent. And making the show has taught me about real whoas Jesus wells.
Every time I get in front of a smoke, I say some word I've never used before.
But what is the right word? Shake like, I don't know. Charles Dickens. It's more Shakespeare, I think, isn't it?
But whatever real was a real whoas. And that's the thing at the show has taught me that it's taught me should have passed your life's grant. You know, you're one of the lucky ones. And it's true. It's also taught me that there's good people in the world which is very needed and people who are caring and kind like the volunteers in the show. And also my guest that's coming up.
An entree that that the families that I meet who were told that their child will die in six weeks, like nine years ago and have to live with that or even the kids who are now in wheelchairs under a relearn to walk, if that's even possible for them, them and their parents in their eyes. I see I see a face. I see blinkered focus. They have heart and they have a they have resilience. That's the that's the that's your huckleberry right there.
That's what this is about. I'm a person capable of amazing things. That's why I want to talk about resilience and about finding inner strength, because it's all relative, however big or small your problems are. I feel resilience is so important now. It's not even now all the time. What am I saying? It's always important, isn't it? That's why I said to John, John, John, John, who are you going to get me to talk about resilience with and who did you say?
John John Jordan. Jordan Wiley. Jordan Wiley.
For those of you that don't know, Jordan Wiley is a former soldier, best selling author, Extreme Adventure, and also one of the stars of Channel Four's show Hunted. Brilliant show. If you haven't seen Checkmate and Jordan served for ten years in the Army. On leaving the army, Jordan entered the world of maritime security, making headlines after armed Somali pirates boarded a ship that he was protecting and Jordan found himself in charge. John John would be in a dinghy on his own, gone as I would be with him, and he would be the Muslim girl on her own to fighting off Somali pirates.
It was this experience that led Jordan to Right Citadel. Fantastic book for best selling number one book. Check it out. He was also the lead advisor to Tom Hanks and producers on the movie Captain Phillips. Great fucking movie. Nice movie.
In October twenty nineteen, Jordan became the first person in history to row solo and unsupported across the most dangerous strait of water on the planet Bab el Mundo Straits between the Horn of Africa and Yemen.
Jordan has also successfully completed the highly publicized Running Dangerously, which saw him run marathons to Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia and God knows where else.
Now look, since his time in the military, Jordan has battled with severe depression, chronic anxiety and more recently, epilepsy.
John. John, what are you do it sounds like you're on zipping now.
I know you're excited about this podcast, but, John, what do you do in this case? It's a pencil case. Well, you got a pencil case out.
Are you making. Oh, right. OK. If you could just keep your pencil pencil, this is why I'm working with this, honestly, this one, OK, just keep your pencil in your pencil case, Johnson. It just sounded very seedy in the middle of Jordan's intro. Look, this man has done amazing stuff. That's what I'm trying to tell you. On the weekend of the 26th of July 2020, Jordan Buganda's attempt to be the first person in the world to do a stand up paddleboard around Great Britain, a complete circumnavigation of over 2000 miles of paddling.
Wow. Yes. Well, we were lucky enough to catch him on his day off in Dublin lockdown, I should say.
This is that shot I wanted to do was shown resilience. And I said it to John, John and then John. John showed me you and I started reading up at I know I don't know where to start, but, you know, I was like, I love I love adventure.
Right. And I've prided myself on doing extreme things and all this. But who took to John from your town? Because honestly. So I suppose the best way to start is maybe at the beginning, like where you from? What was your childhood like? Maybe take it from there. There's a lot, isn't there, with you? Yeah, yeah. It's it's a bit of a journey. I guess I came from a rough background, but, you know, I had the challenges like a working class family.
Grew up on a council estate. Where in Blackpool, Lancashire. Yeah. But, you know, whatever I liked materialistically, I didn't love, you know, from two incredible supportive parents who worked extremely hard all their lives. You know, my father was a military man himself, had a career in the Royal Marines and was always into adventure in the outdoors. And my mother, a working class lady, always grafting in a way, you know, making sure food was on the table for us.
And we were in quite a poor area. But certainly, as I say, we had lots of love around me and lots of support. Did you travel a lot if your dad was a Marine? Is is. No, that's not. That's right.
I travelled a bit, but it wasn't you know, most of my my youth was spent in Blackpool, but I was to be truth be told, I was I was always intrigued by sport and adventure. And I was terrible at school. I left school with no qualifications, no GCSE. Then at 16, I joined the army at 16 and joined the British army. Sixteen, isn't it to join the army? It is, yeah. And I think a lot of that is because of, you know, it's almost all your friends are going to colleges and universities and if you've got no grades, I was I was in trouble with the police now and again as a 15, 14, 15, 16 year old, I had a criminal record at 14 for drunk and disorderly, just mouthing off and being a cheeky little teenager.
It's a trade off when you're that age. I know. I got sent to a borstal when I was 14. Yeah. And I put manners on me really fast. Where where I think that's what the army did for me.
Yeah, I was you know, I was I was a naughty teenager, but sport always got me through life.
For people who can't see you. You're a big unit, aren't you? Like, I'm a big unit, but you're a big unit. What size you. I'm six three. You're six three. Right. And you're stacked. You're you're you're putting us all to shame. Joe Johns crossing his legs as we're looking at you. So tell me you started in the army. What was that like?
Yeah, it was a culture shock. I mean, somebody shouting at to get out of bed ridiculous o'clock in the morning because I was that teenager who would sleep in on a Saturday and be quite lazy if I weren't playing football. It was nothing really that interested me. You know, at fourteen fifteen I started discovering girls, alcohol and all those things that distracts you teenagers today, I guess still. But, you know, I loved adventure. I love the spirit of adventure.
And I love travelling and meeting new people. And the army I didn't realise at the time was a great place for that because it took me around the world to some incredible places, also to some not very nice places. But all the experiences allowed me to learn about life, about myself. And it put me in challenging circumstances that I've sort of, you know, you sink or swim.
So it's hard to go from like a house in a state to the world. Yeah, absolutely. No, that's a big transition. Tell me this. Were you lonely in the army or know your landsliding? Yeah, I've run fairly fast.
No, I think so. Yeah. I think that's something, you know, I've never been someone who is intelligent or educated, but I've always had that skill, probably like yourself, of being streetwise. I can adapt quickly to different environments. And I think that's what in this day and age, that's what gets you. You can almost be quite successful from that ability to improvise and adapt and see opportunities as well. Well, I think it's funny you say that because because there's this snobbery, I imagine in the UK it's the same, but there's a certain snobbery here towards trades.
It has been a thing for years. When you look at countries like Germany where, you know, if you're not an academic, you know, doing a trade, being a sparks or doing whatever you do is encouraged. Well, here does the kind of oh, you didn't go to college. Kind of like I personally. Ever went to college either and I just got into what I was into and got passionate about that. Yeah, when you when you what was your first Chalke in the Army?
What was your first big trip away? So I was actually, you know, I was in Northern Ireland, was my first tour operations, and I did all these things about, you know, what goes on in Northern Ireland and all the history surrounding it. And for me, it was quite strange because I remember as a kid, I was 18 when I got sent there. It was just like being in England. But you was locked in a camp and that's the way I saw it.
I thought this is no different than being at home. And there was obviously all this history of the troubles in Northern Ireland. And and I do feel, having come back to Northern Ireland and Ireland were very much as a soldier and I can say the same about Iraq or Afghanistan, were brainwashed into a way of thinking that they want us to think. And I've gone back to a lot of conflict zones as a civilian and the way I have challenged a lot of the perceptions that I was tuned in to me as a soldier, if only I had either one of my first serious girlfriends was from England.
And I remember we were we were in Australia and we were seeing a kind of Irish songs, you know? And I was like, have you any English songs you want to sing?
And she's like, Yeah, you're going to get your fucking notes. And she starts, right.
But she had no concept that in Ireland we didn't use Sterling. Yeah, she she just thought Ireland was an extension of England. And in Ireland, you told all this history from a very young age. And I realised once I kind of got with her that she didn't have this kind of animosity. She didn't have she just she knew nothing about that. In Ireland, you're kind of. So how was Northern Ireland's army then?
I was you know, I was very young. I learnt a lot about life culture. But most of the troubles at well past when I got there, I got there in 2001 to, you know, the all the history was surrounded there. And we were talked about it. And there was I worked actually in intelligence when I was in the army.
That involves, I've no idea, good government information about criminals, terrorists and and digging around in their lives and trying to, I guess, sort of second guess what they will do next or what they'll be involved in. And so how do you do?
And it's not like it's not like stakeouts. And yes, there's surveillance and watching people and and, you know, getting a really just profiling people and digging into what they may or may not be involved in and and trying to ultimately prosecute people, help the law enforcement agencies bring these, you know, whether the terrorists or criminals to accountability. But, you know, as I've learnt, there are bad people in all aspects of life. It doesn't matter what nationality you are.
I got bad people in my own family. You know, it doesn't matter what color you are, what race you come from. Yeah. If I call it the dickhead rule in life, they're dickheads everywhere. Yeah. Yeah. And and did you excel? Did you excel in intelligence? Did you enjoy that. I loved it.
I thought for me it was a real highlight of my military career because I joined and I was actually in an armoured regiment. The coverage of tanks was my my trade. And it's and it's quite a cool, sexy job as a seventeen, eighteen year old bombing around in sixty two tonnes worth of armor with about ten million quid, especially when you've only just got your driving licence about two weeks before and they give you a tank which is just incredible. I did.
I went out with the UN before I was in charge. Yeah. Yeah. I remember talking to one of the tank drivers and he was in this tank around, you know, and I was like, what do you drive at home? He's like, of course, the same for me. It was my first car was, of course, you know, in my day job, I was driving a Challenger two main battle tank, which is like the ultimate death machine.
And then I was a Vauxhall courser, which I couldn't even drive that properly. I was crushing and sort of it.
But, you know, it was the military.
I think the biggest thing for me, the military taught me was was to stand for something, learn what you who you are as a person, your values. And I think things like the same characteristics that I try and use today, like respect for other people, you know, integrity, loyalty, courage, selfless commitment, having values and and, you know, the political side. I don't know any soldier that ever look too far into that. We signed up for a job and we did the job again.
It didn't matter where you came from or what your beliefs, where you were just a soldier and you got paid at the end of the month and you'd go out on the lot with the lads in between. And if they sent you somewhere, you know, great. We go, we go.
We talk about those things like integrity and courage. And they're big things to right things. Yeah, they're the same traits that I try and use. I left the army ten years ago and I and anything I do, I question myself against those same character traits today, you know, whether it's as a father, whether it's a member of society, whether it's on an expedition in adventure. And I find that if I hold myself accountable to those characteristics, then I know I'm doing the right thing.
Are great traits to be able to be armed with. Are they things that developed quite quickly for you or did you have to know? I don't think. So I'm somebody who's made loads of mistakes, you know, I've whether it's been in love, life, in business, and I'm somebody who's constantly, you know, I don't get things right all the time, but I do believe in the ability to grow and learn from any mistakes that you make.
You know, I don't think life moves so quickly these days and we never know what's around the corner. And you can't sit and dwell on the past because you can't do anything about it. But you can affect your future. And if you take those lessons and try and use them and apply them to your future relationships with in love and business in life, you know, you can evolve and grow as a person quite quickly, I think. And there are lessons around us all the time, just like there are opportunities around us all the time.
And if you're savvy enough and streetwise enough and prepared to own your mistakes, I really do think it's important to own your mistakes. If, you know, if you cockup, if you mess up, you have to put your hand up and say, you know what, I got it wrong. And I think you might have to do that publicly. And it might be embarrassing for a short period of time. But in the long run, you will learn a lot more respect and you will grow as a person a lot that I think that and that, again, comes back to that integrity sometimes.
Like I was saying to someone else, like I've learned so much more from Falen I think I've ever learned to succeed in the things, you know.
And I was there when you spent 10 years in the Army, was the reason you left the army or had you had grown it or what was? Yeah, there was a few reasons. I got a bit of an injury, so my career slowed down. It wasn't an injury significant enough to kill my army career, but it was injury enough to stop me going. It was a back injury, so I couldn't go on certain courses. And so so I was I was flying along quite nicely and that slowed down.
And when you see sort of young soldiers coming in and they're putting you in the career ladder, it becomes quite depressing, actually. And I also saw the private sector, the private security sector and people were earn in a day what I would earn in a month. And they were former colleagues of mine who served alongside me in places like Iraq or Northern Ireland, whether it might be. And I thought to myself, you know what, I want a bit of that as well.
You were out in Iraq, were you?
Yeah, I did two tours of Iraq in 05 and 07. And, you know, it was it was tough, you know, lots of highs and lows. And and for me, you know, losing comrades and colleagues on operations who, you know, you sharing a room with and then they don't come home after a patrol one day. That's it. That's the ultimate low in life. I think, especially you live and breathe. You need to the Brotherhood, right?
Yeah. Any time I've worked with, like you say, FDNY or firefighters or any any kind of an organized group like that, you know, there were brotherhood, you know, nine percent or so, nine percent. You you know, and a brotherhood is deeper than it's a deeper bond than you will find anywhere else in life. And brotherhood are only formed in for me in combat operations where life or death situations, you might not even like that person, but you put your life on the line for that person because he's part of the family.
And I don't think I think that's why a lot of ex military personnel from across the world really struggle, adapting to civilian life. We see it quite a lot with the transition because I don't think you find that in the civilian world and no one normally is in that situation.
No, no, I'm not, because civilians are part of it because they're never exposed to the hardships and the circumstances of being in war and conflict. You know, if you spend six months in a place like Iraq or Afghanistan where you're dodging bullets every day, it's like we talk a lot about mental health at the moment with former military people, talk about soldiers with post-traumatic stress as if it's abnormal, but it's not abnormal. It's actually a perfectly normal reaction to a set of abnormal circumstances.
There's nothing wrong with the individual or you as a person, but there is something wrong with getting shot up for six months and then being put back. I can remember when I first came back from Iraq, we'd been in a firefight with the enemy, if you like, or with the bad guys. And twenty four hours later, you get arrested. You always get in the middle of an operational tour, a two week rest and recuperation paid where you would fly home to see your family.
And I can remember we we'd been on the Iranian border having an exchange of fire. And twenty four hours after that, I was on my R.A. and I was in a nightclub in Blackpool. And that is not normal to go from fighting on the front line with all that sort of testosterone, the adrenaline, those different types of feelings to then being in a nightclub on a dance floor. And you can see how it can mess people up.
And, you know, because I don't know I don't know personally, I would have the mental strength to to come back and and get back to normal. I know. I know it's not an option, is it?
That's that's why I think it's it's so crazy because you just you do it. You have to you don't have a choice. It's not like I'm not going to do it because I'm not strong enough. It's it's just you're in the army and now you go home and you're coming back. And and I think that's why we're seeing all these problems in society. You know, years later, our soldiers, soldiers have left the army and things because that that process is not managed.
People are doing great things and pioneer in the subject of mental health for former military personnel. But then you throw in the mix all the other problems. You have, the wives and girlfriends that are left at home. Never know if they're going to get that phone call, and it's just as hard, I think, for these people who were the often the unsung heroes of the military sort of community that the children.
Were you married while you were in the army? And I had a long term relationship. I wasn't married, nor I had a daughter with the person I was with because I always think it must be very hard, like you talk about coming back into society, but even coming back into your family after you've been away. I don't know how long your chalks or six months, nine months, you know, even coming back to family after that or people that you're so close with, that must take a while to just back into.
No, definitely. Definitely. And for them to adjust to you as well, you know, because often, you know, people will come back from these conflict zones and they come back very different people than than the people that went there because because of the experience. Are you able because there's this big thing at the moment about toxic masculinity. Right. I've always thought was a great thing just in in regards to that. It's OK to be a man yet to be open, you know, to open up a little more than maybe previous generations had, because it was that thing of just be silent, just know mano a mano a mano kind of thing.
But like when you came back, were you able to share things which are with your girlfriend or. I don't think I was at the time, but I think I am now definitely I'm very openly speak about my own mental health. Now I've got I'm a former soldier who goes on extreme adventures. So I'm I fit the profile of someone who's quite masculine. Yeah. But I'm also the guy who many a time had a little cry in my pillow.
And I broke down in giving a talk a few months ago talking about my own mental health and my own challenges. But it was perhaps what's quite interesting for me is that it was never it was never the things that I saw or the friends that I lost that really got in my mind. I sort of not not that I accepted it, but I can process that because that's a part of war in my mind and bad things happen at war. But for me, it was the the breakdown of my relationship with my the mother of my daughter.
It was the anxiety, the stress, the depression from that that that makes me really emotional and really upset. And that's something that most people will go through in life breaking down in a relationship that's quite unfortunately quite a normal thing in society for a for a long term relationship to break down. And for me, it was the fact that my partner moved on and she found another guy. And now that guy was talking to my daughter in when she went to bed at night.
And I was no longer the the dominant male, if you like, that that that hurt me. Caused me deep today to even talk about that. Still, I can feel emotion in many other fathers have that. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, exactly. And I was I went to see a doctor because I couldn't handle that. I was drinking heavily with gambling and and straight away the doctors, the nurses, they put me in the post-traumatic stress disorder bracket.
Your next soldier, you've been to hot sandy places. This is like this always happens. This is a classic case. I think you try and fight that. And then you told you were in denial, which is the most infuriating thing in the world. Is someone analyzing everything you're saying? Yeah. Yeah. And for me, it wasn't, though. It was it was about the general stresses that life brings. You know, it was it was a relationship breakdown that caused me.
And I was on medication till until the start of the puddle. What I'm doing at the moment, I've been on medication for four years, certainly an antidepressant drug. And the moment I've tried to come off it, every time it sent me back into I'm not I'm not crazy. I'm not a psycho, but I don't want to get out of bed in the morning the world against me. I can't be bothered today. And I'm a very different person to be around when I'm not taking that medication.
But being at sea, doing my paddle is give me a new shortly. I call it like blue therapy, being in the ocean, spending time with dolphins and seals. But the doctors would say to me, you you're in a bit of a bubble there. You're in a false bubble. That isn't the real world. And I would say, well, it is my will because I'm choosing to do it and I've been doing it for the last three months.
Just to go back before we get to that part of your adventure. And so you left the army and your mental health was OK? Yeah, it was OK when I left the army. No problems for me. Yeah. Yeah. And then you got into the private sector. So what's what's that exactly. Yeah. So I was in the private security sector, lots of people after the military to go to to the places actually that they'd served in, like Iraq, Afghanistan, and they become so private is where they work for private contracted companies.
A bit of a I don't want to make it sound loose or like cowboys, but a a guns for hire concept. Gotcha. And I was very fortunate to get some opportunities in the maritime security world, which was dealing with pirates, which probably sounds a million miles away from which you have a fantastic book about the Citadel.
Yeah. Yeah. So dealing with pirates, I spent five or six years fighting, if you like, pirates or defending ships from pirate attacks off the coast of Somalia. I'm going to stop you there for a second. Then it's not just normal. Did you just think I had a pirates I just defend? No, no, it wasn't. It is normal now, but it wasn't at the time. My vision of a pirate was the guy with a wooden leg and an iPad and a parrot on the shoulder.
My mate, who was an ex military guy, rang me up and he said, we've got a. We've got a gig protecting ships and pirates. It's a one year contract if you want to get involved. Come on, come and get, you know, come and do it. And they were literally Tamar's what I would earn in a month, in a day to stand on the, you know, on the bridge of a ship, which is like the command station with a gun for three hours on, nine hours off and just look out to see if any pirates come.
You couldn't even many, many of you would be on a ship normally three or four of us. And we just do shifts of three or four hours and take turns. But the money was incredible. This is like two thousand nine. But at the same time, the threat was very real.
You know, to give you some scale of context, in in July 2010, more than 50 commercial ships, you know, the ships that would come in Dublin ports, these container ships, the oil tankers, 50 of them hijacked in Somali ports with over a thousand seafarers. The people who work on them held in captivity. It was it was a real multi-billion dollar business for the pirates. So tell me this for for the pirates, the Somali pirates, what's their goal?
So their goal is it was a business model. Essentially, if they got they would hijack the ship, which, of course, would have cargo on. It could be a couple of hundred million dollars worth of oil, crude oil or liquefied natural gas or whatever it might be. You've got hostages on board. You know, whether we like it or not, the white Westerner who was a high value hostage, you know, an American or a Brit was that was the gold standard.
If you could catch one of those in the ransom, kidnap and ransom market. And who would initiate the ransom that the shipping company ship owner, he would take out insurance policies we have in the Lloyd's of London insurance market. We have policies for kidnap and ransom. But yeah. So depending on the what is quite scary is it was always a business decision whether the ransom got paid. So there was many a ransom. And I wrote about it a bit where the seafarers stayed in hij, hijacked in captivity for many years because nobody wants to pay the ransom for them, because the value of their lives, the cargo and the ship itself was not seem to be worth enough.
That's scary. It's brutal. You know, I there was there was a very famous vessel called the the iceberg, too. And the crew stayed in captivity for nearly four years. There was suicides in that crew, mass mental health issues, torture from the pirates because they never got paid. The ship owner who was in and I think he was an Arab ship owner, he you said, I haven't got the money. I washed my hands of it.
I'm just giving my sister a dirty look. And we're half Egyptian. So I think he was in UAE, but yeah. Yeah, yeah. Where take does and where do you go and look, were you ever taken hostage? I was never taken hostage. My, my the closest I got was my vessel was boarded by pirates and I was security team leader at the time but I didn't have any weapons on board. We, we were, we were unarmed security team.
We was off the coast of Mogadishu. Pirates boarded our ship. And my job was to obviously take control of the situation. So we went down into what was called the Citadel, which was the title of the book, which is like a panic room or a safe room on board the ship right at the bottom of the ship. And my job was to to get everybody there account for everybody. And then in a rescue, the challenge what I had was that I went to call in a rescue and there was no we were in a black spot in the ocean, so the communications didn't work.
So I had to make some quite big decisions. Let's say tell me this, though. Where do you have to go in your head with something like that?
Like, I'd never been in you know, I'd been in conflict combat operations, but I'd never been in that type of scenario. It's quite a unique you know, you almost can't even prepare for that type of situation. And so I I'm in a in a room that is probably about double the size of this.
I've got twenty odd people in there mix nationalities from from a Filipino, Indian, Ukrainian, Russian also. It's British and. You in a scenario where the crew know that pirates are on board and you are locked in a room, all the engines have been disabled or the lights are turned off, you've got people shouting and screaming because they think this is it, this is the end for them. And they're all looking to you. Looking to you. And I'm not the captain over.
The captain is the boss. You know, I'm the security team leader, but the captain's looking to me. So what happens if you and the captain have a disagreement? What we did, we did.
We had quite a lot of disagreements. And you know what?
What you try in the weeks before this, because you're traveling across the ocean to deliver this cargo. You know what I was always conscious of and what I always try to do was build up a strong, solid rapport. You know, I wanted to be the captain's best friend because if if the shit happened, I needed to know that he trusted me and that he was going to take my guidance and experience and and with respect to seafarers are incredible people, some of the most incredible people in the world.
And and they do a job that is a thankless task. Most people don't realize that 95 percent of global trade is still down on the ocean. And then to think that pirates are on board and you're under such stress and pressure. And so with the captain, you know, I made the decision to leave the safe room because we had no communication. So I made a decision to take the the satellite phone off the wall and say to the captain, I'm going to leave.
And the problem is, is that goes against all the protocol, because the moment you leave what is considered a safe room, you then compromise the whole crew's life. Because what we have now is a potential hostage situation. If the pirates get hold of me because I'm out in the ship now, they can get me. We have a hostage situation. So they just put a gun to my head and say to the crew, you come out now or he's going to die.
And the other challenges is the special forces will not board a ship or the coalition forces in the region will never board a ship to try and neutralize the threat if everybody is not accounted for. So so my communication would normally be we are now all accounted for in the safe room in the Citadel, please. You know, they will then board the ship because they know that anybody who's not in that safe room is the bad guys. So they can deal with the threat.
But the problem is, is if you've got a member of the crew outside of the safe room, they don't know who the good and who the bad is, you know, so it goes from a hostage situation to an opposed boarding and vice versa.
So I think I can't make a decision if we're going to have a chicken Caesar or a Mexican salad, like like how do you how do you get your brain to do you just turn into someone else or is that you know? I know.
No, I was you know, I'm very honest. I was shitting myself. I was scared. I was anxious. I was apprehensive. I was all those emotions rolled into one.
And the drill was so. So the plan A was always obviously you go down into the safe room. The Plan B is if if the pirates are on board, you call in the rescue. There was no plan B, we wasn't prepared for that because we never expected to ever get to that. So for me, it was just like looking at it logically, what can we do? Well, if we stay in this room and don't do nothing at the same time, the pirates, because you think of a big a big cargo ship, it's the debt.
There's about six or seven decks. So even though the pirates have got on board, we've put locks and obstacles. We've made it very dark. We've disorientated them. So it's still going to take them quite a while to get to the crew. And from a pirates perspective, you know, you can't control or sail one of these big technical ships. You need the captain and the crew to do that. So at the stage of being on board as a pirate, it's just an illegal board and it's not a hijack.
It's only a hijack when you've got control of the crew because you need that crew to sail that ship back to Somalia. So it was just an illegal board. And so so that's that's it's not the worst case scenario. Yeah. So I made a decision that I was going to leave the Citadel. The captain, of course, didn't want me to do that because that went against all the rules and regulations. And for me, I take a lot of lessons about this in life because sometimes there are occasions in life where you have to break the rules in order to survive and succeed.
And if if you look at all the great pioneers, whether it's in business, whether it's in combat, these are all people who have gone against the grain often and made a decision to go in a different direction than what perhaps the rulebook says. You look at the Steve Jobs is the people like that, the people who have that, the nonconformist, the Martin Luther King's of the world, who have stood up and thought, you know what, no, that might be the rules, but we're going to go in this direction.
And I learn a lot from that situation, that there will be times that you can break the rules for the better in life, but you can only do that based on the experience. You know, you've got to know the rules inside out before you can break them. Otherwise it becomes reckless. And if the lesson is what I know, what happened next is available in all bookshops.
Because because it's funny you're saying that there's a Gary Larson cartoon that I saw and it's at this penguin with boxing gloves. They're in a boxing ring and there's a polar bear decked out on the floor. And he's doing the after match interview and he goes, I don't know what happens on a like I suppose my fight or flight kicked in. And as you know, I'm a penguin, so I don't fly. Right. So a lot of people like you obviously have that far to fight.
A lot of people they would just break like when I say a lot of people, I mean me. I would be scared. And there's a lot of people at the moment who don't feel like they can they can make themselves fight or they're. Scared or their lack and courage, although, again, it wasn't a choice, it's born out of necessity to survive. Know if you're asking me before I went down there, I want to put you in this situation and you have to deal with I'll be going.
Oh, no, I don't want to get in a situation. You know, you have no choice because you need what you do. Otherwise it if you if I have done nothing, I'm basically saying I'm accepted my fate. I'm leaving my hands, my fate at the hands of the pirates. You know what the likelihood is as the security guy, as the British, as the white Westerner, I'm going to get the good news and get end up on Al Jazeera or something like that on YouTube.
Get him in the boiler suit before anyone else.
So, you know, we are the architects of our own destiny in all decisions in life. Whatever we do for the good and the bad, you know, we are to you. Is there things that you would advise people?
You know, is there is there are ways to overcome being afraid or like I think you have to use I think you have to try and harness that fear and turn it. Fear is often seen as a negative emotion. And, you know, no different than when I get on the water, on the paddle board and the waves crashing into the side of the boat and the winds go in and, you know, I'm falling into the water and I'm thinking, bloody hell, this is pretty scary.
But at the same time, you know, you can I believe you can use that and harness that and embrace it as a force of good in the world. I always try and disconnect my emotion from a decision now, not just in an extreme scenario, but if I'm up in an argument with my girlfriend, you know, we often have arguments in our in our love life, in our household, where the adrenaline's going. We're all riled up.
We've had a bad day and we'll we'll snap and we say something that we don't mean, but we've said it because we're emotional and we're in the moment. And that's I find that is the same with decision making. If you're thinking emotionally and trying to make emotional decisions quite often, you're probably going to get it wrong because you're not breaking it down logically and thinking about the series of events, the possible outcomes, because if you did that, you would never have said the things that you said to people in the past.
Sometimes I have heard this about people and people trying to offload or they raise their voice and you raise your voice. And a great comparison. They were saying like, it's like going to the zoo. You have someone if you go to the zoo and you look at a monkey and the monkey shits in his hand and throws it against the glass, you know, you don't shit in your hand and throw it against the glass against them, you just go look at the stupid fucking monkey.
So it's about keeping yourself kind of unemotional and just balanced. Yeah, absolutely.
And if you're what you've got to remember as well, you're not just looking after you in that scenario. You're looking after a lot of other lives and people as well. And panic breeds more panic. You know, if I'm seen to be panic and stressed and I'm one of the leaders, you know, and that's what that for me was the arguing with the captain. The captain was in real flap mode. You know, he was panicking. He was getting stressed, he was getting agitated.
And all that was doing from a leadership perspective was panic in his crew. You know, they were becoming more agitated. They were shouting, screaming. They were pulling out pictures of the family, you know, crying, looking at the photos. And so I was trying to, you know, I took him to one side and grabbed him around the neck and said, you need to fucking get a grip yourself now because you're the captain of this boat, you know, and I'm going to help you get out of this situation.
But you need to get a grip of yourself. And we saw that many times. You know, we had a few incidents with the pirates over the five or seven years, not necessarily why they got on board, but, you know, they fired at the boat and rounds or bullets ricochet into the bridge. And again, people went into panic mode. It was there was a captain one time who wanted to he said, we need to stop the ship and we need to just let the pirates do.
And this is before the pirates even got on board or anything. You know, he was wanting to surrender. And he's got he's got young seafarers on board who were also looking at and going bloody easy for real, this guy, you know, and so, you know, panic, panic.
It does breed a real negative sense of of more panic. So I'm conscious of that as well. But these are only experiences that you learn over life. The first time I was shot at in Iraq, I can remember panicking. And I remember I can remember very clearly. I was I think I was twenty twenty one years old. And the first time I got shot up, I was a young lance corporal, so a very junior leader right down the pecking order.
And I remember it must have been two or three seconds. I remember getting my head down in the sand and I was looking to the left and right for people to tell me what to do. And it was only when I looked at and realized that they were looking at me to say, what do we do now? And I can remember that really well, because I shit myself. I was absolutely. But then all of a sudden, split seconds later, the adrenaline, the train and everything you've been through, you build up and you like you click and then you start making decisions, right.
You're going left, Lankin, you are going right. This is what's going to happen.
It's just a certain mood at the moment where people have just lost faith in themselves a little bit. Yeah, yeah. You know, they're just they're just scared of the unknown. You know, it's scary for everyone to think.
And I think we live in a world now. I say to young people a lot, you know, a lot of people I my passion is to help develop and grow young people, you know, children who have not yet realised what they want to do or realise their own potential. Why is that? Just because you saw yourself like that when you were younger? I think so.
I think everybody needs to believe in themselves, I think. You know, it sounds really bad, but we have so many uninspiring adults in the world, you know, people who have given up on their dreams already and these adults, for me, a bit like the infectious what we were just talking about. I see so many adults who because they've given up on their dreams, they convince everyone else that it's not possible to go and achieve whatever you want in life.
And I see them. And what's scary, I see them in places where they should not be. I see them in youth organizations, in schools, in the education sector, which for me should be full of the most inspiring people. These should be enablers to get people to believe they can achieve anything in the world. So, you know, I try and do my best to inspire young people, to get them to believe in the self, to get them to believe, believing in what's perceived to be the impossible and will also be a realist and tell them that and try to lead by example and show them that you're walking off to work very hard, is very competitive.
But, you know, if you've got a goal and you're striving to achieve it, then absolutely go for it. But you've got to wake up every day and live and breathe that goal because it's not just going to arrive in your lap one day. You know, it's a cutthroat world.
Asked to be it has to be a work ethic. And that's where some people just, I think, just give up. Yeah, absolutely. You know, because they don't have that in them. And tell me this. When you were telling my children that you must have saw a lot when you were in the army with children, right?
Yeah. I think for me, one of the reasons for a lot of my charity work involves trying to inspire hope through education, getting people to whether it's building schools or providing educational resources for children in conflict zones. There was there was an occasion for me on my first tour of Iraq, where are we? And I was a very junior commander as a non-commissioned officer. And we would go into a place called Margeir Alcubierre, which is which is in the Maysan province just north of Basra.
And we were driving down this road one day and we were in a convoy of three Land Rovers and I was in the front vehicle and there were some children playing a couple, maybe about half a mile, quarter of a mile ahead of us.
And I remember thinking at the time, these children, because it was like a main road, it was like, you know, the main the M1 or whatever you would call it in Dublin. It was it was a main transit route, like a motorway. You wouldn't you wouldn't play at the side of it if he was a kid. And I remember seeing these kids and my immediate sort of tactical had was were probably driving into an ambush of some sort where these kids have been placed there.
So we will stop and slow down and then it's going to happen. And that was quite a common tactic, you know, in the military at the time.
I remember being in charge and seeing, you know, after there was gunfights, ah, target practice. The kids would come around. They they would collect the shell. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
And you're just like, why are you guys here? You just different world and no child should be exposed to that, I don't think. And on this particular occasion I remember thinking, right, let's just stand by, everybody.
Stand still. All the troops to be on the top cover on top of the vehicle and said, you know, we could be going into an ambush sort of thing. Anyway, I got a bit closer and I realised that the kids weren't there to harm us or hurt us. Actually, they were in distress. And one of the little boys, little 10 year old boy, you'd actually lost his leg clean off and he'd inadvertently stood on a roadside bomb, which was probably designed to take out one of our patrols.
And we stopped the vehicle and did all our drills secure the area. And I remember we put a tourniquet on this little boy and try to stem the bleeding. It was a real serious catastrophic bleed. He was bleeding out. Long story short, we tragically couldn't save this little boy. And I was I was working in intelligence at the time in Iraq for the British military. And I said to my interpreter, what were these kids doing playing at the side of a main road?
Why didn't they just go to school like everybody else does in the world? And he looked at me like in complete disgust and horror. And he said, Jordan, you've got a lot to learn in life. You he said these kids will never go to school. They are not privileged to have the opportunities that you had. And it was the first time that I realised I mean, you know, and I did terrible at school. But what I did up was the opportunity in school.
Absolutely no. And and I realised that bloody well, you know, what a little shit I was, because these kids would and I saw it every day. All these kids in these places, all they wanted to do was learn. They love, learn, and they thrive on it. But they would never get the opportunity because, you know, whether the school had been blown up or the school was 100 kilometres away or you want to pay or for a hundred reasons.
And I said that night, my interpreter, who was a local Iraqi gentleman, I said to him one day, I would like to come back and try and help some of these children because it's just for me. Children are the ultimate victims of war and conflict everywhere in the world. You know, I was in Syria not too long ago and I met a little boy who was like seven years old and a shell came in probably about half a kilometre away.
It was never near us, but it was it was enough for us to hear it. And and I know for me to react and want to get down and get out the way. And this little boy just carried on playing football. And I said again to my local agent there, the sort of fixer, I said, bloody hell is not scary. And he was like, literally every day since he was born.
Why would it's scary. I mean, it's normal for him.
Wouldn't be normal for anyone, like, oh, my God, I'm always I always try to be grateful for life. Now, I think that was one thing the military taught me as well, is a sense of gratitude, you know, whatever. Whatever you doing in life, however, of a shit day you're up in, even with covid now, you know, we've covered, we're all complaining and you're wrong. If you've been affected and people have passed away, that is absolutely brutal and tragic.
But still, I look at the situation in places like the Yemen at the moment where bombs are being dropped every day and hundreds of children are dying all the time. And these this is their normal corvids, covid. It's not even a problem, not even the dying of covid as well. But these are people who are living and breathing more and conflict every day. And nobody wants to talk about it over this. It's like it's like the children who fell off the face of the earth.
And we have we as humans, we have this terrible trait of only being bothered about things if it affects us, you know, and it's just having a small world.
Yeah, yeah. We look at the world like, what's our problems today?
You've done these crazy, crazy things to give me because I than go like you. Tell me what what ones you're most proud of these because I know you did come and jaro.
Yeah. Hard you know, for me it's adventure is what I like. But for me it's always about the purpose and the reasons why we do it. You know, I'm not for me. I could take a leave any expedition if you tell me that.
If you told me now, you know, I'm trying to raise a hundred thousand from my paddle at the moment to paddle around Great Britain. If you said to me now, Jordan, I'll tell you what, I'll give you the hundred thousand that you're trying to raise. I'd stop paddling tomorrow. You know, it's for me, it's about it's about what we can do through the adventure. It's not about the adventure itself. What you're doing, great stuff.
Like like you're raising great money and you're doing great kind of great charity work and you're doing these extreme things that are well, I think is to show people as well, though, especially the young people, that I'm not I'm not super special forces guy. I'm not a super athlete. I'm not an Olympian. I'm a normal guy who, you know, I go have a pizza on a Friday night. I have a few pints in the pub.
And I like to show people that you can achieve anything, but you've got to believe it and you got to work hard for it. But ultimately, it's not about what I'm doing. It's about why I'm doing it. I think that's the important thing. And why are you doing this? Partly. What's that for? So for me, it's I'm trying to I've been for the last two years trying to build a school on the Horn of Africa for children displaced by the conflict in Somalia.
In Yemen, we're about 70 percent complete on the school. It's in a little country called Djibouti, which not many people will have heard of. It's one of the smallest countries in Africa, but it's a place where most of what a lot of children from Yemen and Somalia, refugees who've lost their homes, their families, a lot of them don't have parents anymore. And they're housed in this in these refugee camps around the Horn of Africa. I visited maybe ten times last year and I just thought, you know, they're just sat there, almost just existed.
Not there's no there's no future. There's no hope. And I found that education is the one thing that can inspire hope for a better future because it can allow you to access new opportunities. It can allow you to understand more about the world, even the situation that you find yourself in. So I said I made a promise. I look some children in the eyes there in 20 March twenty nineteen. And I spoke to the minister of education in Djibouti and I said, can we not build a school here?
I said, I think I've got enough funding and support to be able to deliver something here. And he said to me, he said, Jordan, generally people come from the UK and promises great things. I see all these charities, the big names that you'll have heard of, and they raise lots of funds. We see on the TV adverts where you have the little African children running around, but we never see the output here. You know, he said, I can tell you now and I can take you to projects that should have happened, but we've never seen them happened.
And I said, you know, and I said to him, I completely respect that and understand that. But I'm looking you in the eye right now and I shake your hand. And I said, I will deliver this project whatever it takes. And I'm proud to say that seventy percent of the school is built. The corvids had a big impact on delivering materials from the Middle East, the UAE into it. Well, if I if I finished 100K, which I will do, and I say if I get the hundred K, I'll stop paddling tomorrow.
We're on about sixteen, seventeen.
Just some people. Now tell me where you've been paddling from. Yeah.
So I'm currently attempting a world first and a world an official Guinness World Record attempt to paddle round Great Britain a full circumnavigation on a paddle board, stand up paddle board, probably pick the worst time of year, go into the winter to do it just to get a bit more flavor to the challenge. And then at the same time, just to spice it up a bit, I decided to do it in the middle of a global pandemic, which is not easy either with all the different restrictions.
But you know where we are. Eighty seven days in now. I started right in the bottom right hand corner of England in a place called Essex. On the twenty sixth of July, I've paddled the south coast of England. John Jones. Now that he knows Essex well, yeah, yeah, yeah. Around the south coast, down the south coast, around Land's End, across the Bristol Channel into South Wales, came across from South Wales to a place called Kilmore Quay, the island.
And then I've moved up from Kilmore Quay to here in Dublin and I've got to keep going north into Northern Ireland. And then hopefully I'll get back into Scotland and then and then come round the other side. But it's been brutal. It's been relentless many days where I thought, what am I doing there? And wanting to give up? Remember, in the why would do in this stays at the forefront of my mind, you know, it's just, as you were saying, all that one thing, you're very like, incredibly admirable.
And you mentioned at the very start debate integrity. And it comes out of you just very naturally for having purpose.
In life makes massive, it's so big, it's such a big deal because sometimes when you don't have a purpose, you have a reason to give up.
You know, I think a lot of times the reason I'm a bit of a workaholic and and the reason I go to work all the time and it is for the purpose of my family. You know, I remember traveling around with my mother. I did a show called 50 Ways to Kill Your Mommy, where she did these extreme things. And it's funny, as we were doing it, I just saw the 70 year old become this other person. No one was treating her like a little old lady.
And, you know, I remember this woman saying in the airport, you know, she can't sit in the emergency exit seat. And I was just like, she's just on the highest skydive in the world. She's just flown in nineteen forty two warbird upside down. But my mom had this purpose to get me showpieces. It is huge in life.
I think, you know, I always I call it the three P's actually little acronyms. I call it people purpose and passion.
You know, surround yourself with great people, people who inspire you, people who are better than you, smarter than you, people who have that positive energy that, you know, in light wise, it's reciprocal.
You give it back to him, but surround yourself with good people, have a purpose and do it with passion. I think one of the things I've learned in my life is there's a huge difference between success and fulfillment. People think that chasing success all the time, you know, success is often it's materialism, it's money, it's social media followers. It's awards, it's it's accolades, it's public recognition. But that's all bullshit. When all is said and done, absolute, absolute bullshit fulfillment comes from within here.
Fulfillment is what's going to make you get out of school is what makes me get out of bed on a rainy day at 3:00 in the morning, put it on a cold, frozen, wet suit to get in the Irish Sea. It's about knowing that you've just added a few more bricks to that school in on the Horn of Africa. It's about knowing that you're inspiring young people who never believed in the self, never thought they could do something to go out and give it a go.
And also to feel and the feeling of I don't know for a second that you'll be standing in the Horn of Africa looking at a school and that feeling like you can put a price on that now.
And that's and in that respect, it's quite selfish because I think the charity sector is a fascinating one, because it gives you the best feel good factor in the world to be able to help others, you know, so it's quite selfish.
You know, I do a show here called DIY S.O.S and. It's all about the yes, that's the only reason all these people volunteer and they help you because you get so much good, you go home smiling, beaming because you're doing good. When was the first time you did you did a charity job or you did a fundraiser? And I got that feeling because there was obviously something that got you hooked.
Yeah, I think I think when I first took fundraising seriously with Kilimanjaro and it wasn't necessarily for a cause that I was passionate about, but what I learned from that is that you don't have to do something that is the biggest thing that's ever been done in the world. You just have to do things differently and start thinking differently. Two of my friends who were military guys, they said to me, Jordan, we're thinking about an expedition for a cancer related charity.
If you fancy, we're going to go and climb Kilimanjaro. And I said to him, it's great for everyone, not everyone, but a lot of people have climbed Kilimanjaro. It's a great cause. It's a great feat. But it's not a Mt. Everest, for example. You know, it's it's it's still not everyone can achieve it. Tiebreaker, in my opinion, with respect. So I said, why don't we do it differently? And I said and he said, what do you mean differently?
I said, well, you know, lots, hundreds, thousands of people climb every year. We need to do it differently if we're going to be different and attract fundraising and sponsors. And they said, no, no, no, why? We got to be crazy and weird. We're just going to do it and climb. I said, well, I'm going to come with you.
I'd say your mom is like, why would you be fucking Jordan? This could have been and, you know, go on. So I said, well, I'm going to do it with no shoes on. I'm going to climb it with no shoes on. And I'm going to create a little logo and call it Barefoot Warrior, because that's how the locals would do over there. And they raised a thousand pound, which was amazing. And I raised about seventy thousand pound and all I did was the same thing, but with no shoes on.
And I just that made me think that you don't have to be the biggest or best. You just have to do things differently, be creative and you have to capture the imagination of the public. So that's when I when I started running through conflict zones or post-conflict zones, I'm not doing anything incredible. I'm running a marathon or a half marathon or a 10K, which is which is achievable for most people to do about training. And I'm doing it in a place that I've maybe worked or served in in the military.
But when you put them both together and call it running dangerously and give it a little logo and then speak to some TV and film and PR people, that becomes like the most amazing thing in the world. Running dangerously, an ex soldier running through Iraq to raise money for children. And you've sparked the imagination.
What do the locals make when they see they see you and your Nike's flying and flying towards them? You know what the funniest thing was in Afghanistan? My I had a sponsor for each different country, and the sponsor when I was in Afghanistan was an insurance company in London. And they were they were a hostile environment insurance company and they were called hostile environment liability protection. So their initial spelt out help. So on the back of my mind, I'll be back if I invest.
They need help. And the locals love you. Definitely need help.
Have you got a good grasp on? Because you seem to have a kind of a certain affinity for for these these war torn countries.
I know best friends are in these countries now. The local people in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Madisen, my best friend, some of them people who I would trust my life with. I spend a lot of time in the Horn of Africa, in Somaliland, Somalia, and I would say these are people who I put my life on the line for.
You know, what you think makes them so special. What do you think it is?
I think I think the authenticity, the simplicity, they've not been brainwashed by the Western world. People people are just kind of nice because that's the right thing to do, whereas we are very selfish as the Western world. We're very what is in it for us? What can we get from a situation? You know, when I was an important part of that story is when I was in Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan. I had these views before I went there as a civilian.
And they were all tainted by the images that I had as a soldier, a privateer.
And when I'd been in those countries previously, I'd always been carrying a gun of some sort. Know years before when I went there as a civilian and didn't tell anyone that I was a soldier, the love, the compassion, the kindness that I experienced was more than I've ever experienced in my hometown. You know, the people of those three countries, Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan will always have a massive special place in my heart. I saw I saw more love and kindness there than I've ever seen.
And I was a complete stranger. And, you know, even even with the paddling at the moment, I've arrived before that when the covid restrictions were a lot looser than they are now. It's really time now. But I would arrive in towns and villages that I'd never even heard of in different parts of the UK or Ireland. And people would would give me a tent. They'd give me food. They'd give me a room. People are cold.
You see, you had a lot of good people in the world and they're the people who I try and find and have relationships with and surround myself with because there is a lot of good and the the general public gets a tough time. But there is some there's a lot of good people in the world and you've just got to find them and stay stay in touch with them. You were saying about how important it is to find positive people, because I think the flipside of that is the toxic people and it's loaded and that they'll destroy you, right?
They will. Especially with this social media world, we live in a world now where people hide behind these keyboards, behind the mask, and they can spout out whatever they want without any accountability at all. And it's my biggest gripe with this celebrity culture, these these influences, because, you know, they go on these ridiculous shows like Love Island, where all of a sudden they're catapulted to like extreme fame with millions of followers. And they're pumping out these messages that they've got no accountability.
They're not messages that are necessarily positive. You know, I go into a school now and I speak to kids and I ask them what they want to be. And often they'll say, I want to be famous. I want to be an Instagram model, I, I want to be a celebrity.
But what you want to be famous for, you know, 20 years ago, you ask the question, what you want to be famous, you know, get going, be all these great things.
But, you know, I just think with social media, there needs to be stronger laws surrounding things like bullying, accountability. And if someone's going to be culpable, it's a fame overnight that needs to be in some kind of controlled manner because, you know, if you've got millions of followers, you've got a voice, a strong voice, and you need to be accountable for the things that you're pushing out there. The sad world we live in, if you're doing good things and you go into bigger heights, people are trying to pull you down quickly.
You know, I see that all the time.
If you're doing something good, especially for me, it's not so bad because I don't care about recognition for me. I do it for me to try and do it for the cause. But if you're doing good things and you're and you're in the public domain and you're being recognized with awards and things, people want to knock you off your perch very quickly. Absolutely.
What's next for you now?
Probably lots more Parolin. And so I got a lot more talent until I raise that 100k. So where you are at the moment today? I'm currently offshore in a place called Mornington, and then I'm going to try and head to a place called Clocker Head.
Yes. Is that right? Hang on. Hang on. Yeah. I'm going to ask my next target, and that should be me after class I had in Ireland into Northern Ireland. But of course, lots of restrictions. So it's very unlikely I'll actually get to go ashore in any of these places now because of the restrictions. So I'll probably be anchored offshore on a support boat.
Is that what they do? You kind of paddle to a certain point and they drop a buoy or something. So I put a pin so I can paddle all day long and then I'll drop a GPS pin or the team will to mark where I am. And then when I start paddling again, when the weather's good, I have to carry on from that exact point. It must be fucking hard. Oh, it's horrible.
It's brutal because there's an image of people just you just nonchalantly like just partly what I was going past, Brian, in Bournemouth in the summer.
It was beautiful. And I thought, well, so what's all the fuss about? It is easy. It's like a bit of a holiday. But crossing the Irish Sea was there was a culture shock for me.
And how many hours you ate there roughly? I so I think the longest I've been out in a day is about 17, but sometimes it depends on 17 hours.
Yeah. Yeah. Depends, depends on the weather and the conditions, the wind and the tide. Whereas where is your head. Like what do you take when you're out there.
You just you think everyone you know, I've, I've built lots of skills. I've won the lottery, I had a new girlfriend, I've been remarried. You go through every scenario possible. But, you know, an Irishman actually give me some great advice. The best piece of advice that I had. He said one day at a time and stay in the game. And that's what I try and think about your state in the game as long as possible, because it's very you have you have a lot of bad days, you know, when it's rough weather, a lot of frustrations with all these covid things.
You can't move. But I just try to stay in the game. And I always think tomorrow's a new day. And you almost accept as well as an adventurer, there will always be lows. But there's also incredible highs. And you've got to remember that the lows don't last forever. They last for a day or two.
Like when you're spending time like that and you're doing these and you're doing them for brilliant cause, but when you're actually physically doing these mentally difficult challenges, do you do you or is there a lot of self exploration or are you in your head a lot?
Are you developing and learning a lot about yourself? I think so. I think I think reflection is important. You know, I often I will spend the last fifteen, twenty minutes before I go to sleep at night. What did I learn today? What could I do? I'm better today, you know, how did I grow? How did I live?
I developed one of the concepts I've learnt quite recently is reframing negative thoughts into neutral or positive thoughts. So, for example, today I can't paddle because the web is really bad. That's really frustrating. And and typically I'll be going, you know, bloody weather again, storms it. But instead of saying that, why not say this is a day where I can let my body recover, I can go and do an awesome podcast with you guys. I can meet some cool new people.
I can get some good nutrition in me for once this week. So just trying to we can always reframe our thoughts into a different perspective. I think it's so important the prism that you look at life through is absolutely and that's all it is. It's just a different angle of looking at the same the same situation. But it's just a different perspective.
And now because I'm practising it every day, you know, I can stop myself doing it before I have a moan. I can think it's quite easy to find positives at the. Moment because the whole world is at a standstill, this coronavirus, this pandemic, people are losing their jobs, people don't know what they're going to work again, people are dying. So I can find positives in my day quite quickly by just having some perspective on the world right now.
Know if you're going home and all your family are healthy and fit and you and you've still got food on the table, you're better off than a lot of people right now in the world.
Jordan, I know how busy you are, and I can't tell you how much it means to meet you face to face. I know. And likewise the pictures, because I just think you're fantastic and I think you're exactly what's needed for four young men, especially out there, to kind of see and see what a man is about. And just for all the charity stuff that you're doing, I just think it's very kind. I mean, like, I just I have this it's a kind of passion of mine at the moment is just as positive male role models.
There's a lot of talk about women and I have a lot of daughters and I'm delighted that they're moving in a certain way. But I worry about my boys sometimes and and how they see themselves. And I think people like you out there doing what you're doing and having such integrity and being such a good guy and coming from the background that you've come from as well. It's just fucking amazing. I just think it's a stand off. I wish you all the best.
I don't dare for a second. I'll give you a big share that with everything else. And I hope you raise as much money as you can as fast as you can, because I don't care for too much longer an absolute honor to be on the show, a real privilege to listen, because, hey, I'm happy days, man.
That was just fascinating. Just brilliant. Deadly, isn't he?
Isn't he? He's brilliant. Look for Jordan shedid. Please, please help them build his school on the Horn of Africa. What he's done is wild and has never been attempted. And he deserves your support. And you just go and donate at the great British Puddle Dotcom. That's the great British puddle dotcom. You can also check out any of his books, The Cities. I've read that one. It's brilliant. Like Jordan said, I think one day at a time you are strong.
You just might not know it yet. I think Arani put it best. Now I'm going to paraphrase because I can't remember exactly. But true strength doesn't come from fiction.
When in shit, Imad, your struggles, your hardships day, they develop your strength when you go through shit and troubles and woes and real heartbreak and challenges and you decide not to surrender, not to give up. There you go. That's your strength right there. Get up, find the tiny small positives and build, preach, baby, preach, listen.
And that's pretty much it for this week, as always. And thank you for listening. Please, if you enjoyed the podcast, subscribe like leave a comment, maybe share, share with your friends, tell them to listen to, you know, what to say and do that. And so you can get me on all my social media, I'll be Ashmawy on Twitter, Instagram, all that. And that's pretty much it for all of us here. So what will I say?
But good luck.
Endotoxins down. People of Dublin, are you a Dublin dipper or a Lukan liquor, or are you Dublin's leading expert this year, Cadbury Cream is 50 years old and celebrating its golden jubilee. So what we want to know is how will you be celebrating the hunt for the special Golden Jubilee Egg is on unwrap it and went up to 5000 euro. For more information, check out Carbury Ireland across all social. Let the entertainment begin.